Rogan Josh is a type of Indian curry distinguished by its thick, flavourful red sauce and tender meat.
“Rogan” means clarified butter or oil in Persian, or “red” in Hindi, and “josh” refers to passion – fiery or hot – so this dish is all about cooking in an oil-based sauce with an intense heat.
Rogan josh was introduced to Kashmir by The Mughals, whose cuisine was influenced by Persian cuisine.
Generally, rogan josh consists of lamb or goat that has been slow-cooked in oil, yogurt and a mix of many different spices. Despite its intense red hue, it is usually not a particularly spicy curry. Rogan josh remains a common dish in Northern India and is a popular menu item at Indian restaurants in North America and Europe.
To prepare rogan josh, most cooks begin by browning their meat of choice – traditionally lamb or goat – in oil. The meat is then removed and a number of spices, including garlic, ginger, whole black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander and red pepper, are added to the hot oil in stages. Next, the meat is returned to the pan along with plain yogurt. The pan is then covered and cooked over low heat until the meat becomes very tender.
A large number of rogan josh variations exist. For instance, some cooks add tomato paste or tomato puree to their recipes. Others include mild red Kashmiri chilies or paprika in their spice mixture. These additions alter the dish’s taste and intensify its red color.
Rogan Josh is served with a side of plain basmati rice, or the Indian bread known as naan, or both.
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